Hunger Action Month

“Missing a meal” is not the latest diet craze, but the definition of “food Insecurity.” Right here in Arizona one in 7 families are considered food insecure like Andrea, who needed her car to get to her job.

“This month my car broke and the only way to pay for it was to take the money from my food budget. I would skip dinner to make sure my kids had something at night,” said Andrea. “Knowing there was a week until my next paycheck was when I found the food bank and was provided a cart full of groceries.”

“I was so thankful to find so many people who care. It meant a lot to my family.”

You can help neighbors like Andrea put nutritious food on her table this month. Here are some ideas YOU can take action this month.

September is Hunger Action Month. Here are a few ways YOU can take action, and make an impact in your community!

Hold a Canned

Food Drive

Hold a canned food drive at your church, office or in your neighborhood. Contact Catie to arrange your drive, and find out our greatest needs at chammann@phoenixrescuemission.org or 602-346-3347

#ShareYourPlate

Use the #ShareYourPlate hashtag on social media to let your friends and family know how you are helping food insecure families this month. Don't forget to check Phoenix Rescue Mission on Facebook and @phxmission on Twitter and Instagram to see our video highlights of those you are helping.

Feed a Family

Feed a family in our care. Hope begins with a meal, just a $1.92 provides a nutritious meal in our dining hall. Click HERE to donate.

Volunteer at Hope for Hunger Food Bank

Volunteer to pack food boxes at Hope for Hunger Food Bank. Sign up as a volunteer on VolunteerHub or click HERE to see the available shifts.

Become a Fill-A-Bag Partner

Join the Mission and help us support low-income families in our neighborhoods with bags of groceries and basic goods. To learn more about the Fill-A-Bag Program, click HERE.

Buy Cookies

You heard right. Buy  cookies. Support the Mission's Cookie Enterprise Vocational Program, where all proceeds go back into the program to support the very women baking up delicious cookies, made from scratch, just for you! Learn more at giftcookies.com

Volunteer Serving in our Kitchen

Serve at our Community Market

Every 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month, the Mission serves our low-income families. We open our campus and provide food bags, a chance to "shop" for clothes, shoes and basic household items, provide counseling and prayer, and plenty of water to get them by. See what happens at our market below.

Thank you for taking action to end hunger in our community!

Mission Possible Café

Mission Possible Café, located at 1516 West Van Buren Street, is the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s latest project—and it’s opening October 2nd!

The new café will offer southwestern-inspired cuisine with emphasis on Mexican grilled items. It will focus on strong customer service, as well as quality food at affordable prices. One of the key factors that will set this new restaurant apart is its story.

The Phoenix Rescue mission provides new beginning for men, women and children in the community who are struggling with homelessness, addiction and trauma. Many people who enter Phoenix Rescue Mission have little to no job experience. For this reason, the organization now takes a holistic approach to rehabilitation. Rather than solely focusing on the sobriety of the clients, it also assists with job training through the vocational development program. The Phoenix Rescue Mission's goal is to help the men and women in our programs get back on their feet through service.

“Adding Mission Possible Café to Mission Cookies and Mission Catering as a training ground for our already successful Food Service Manager’s Training program, will allow us to continue to serve our clients and help them advance,” said Jay A. Cory, President and CEO, Phoenix Rescue Mission.

All Mission Possible Café employees will be part of the vocational development program, an eight-month course designed to get participants back on their feet. The program begins with four months of classes, where men and women learn about food service and gain other practical skills. It concludes with four months of practical application, when participants can work at Mission Possible Café. Its ultimate goals are to prepare people for the workforce, and to give them the ability to give back using service.

“Clients will learn food service operations, development leadership skills, and be prepared for successful placement in management level positions in the food service industry. We hope the community will join us for a great meal and help transform lives in the process,” said Cory.

The Mission Possible Cafe will share space with the Mission's Cookie Enterprise and the Mission's catering business that is currently talking residence in the building. For years there has been room, and a vision to share this space with our community. Our community has been so supportive, individuals are stepping up to make this restaurant possible (no pun intended). The below video highlights one of the main walls in the cafe designed and painted by a local Arizona State University student studying graphic design. Katie and her team made this empty space come to life, and is the first stages of paint and decorations before tables, chairs, accents go up. Thank you Katie for sharing your gifts with the Mission and our community! Mission Possible Cafe opens October 2nd, so come stop by and give us a try!

Catering to a New Life | April 2016 Newsletter

Catering to a New Life

Mission Possible Catering

Chicken Caesar wraps. Quinoa salad. Fresh baked bread. On their own they make for a healthy, tasty lunch. But combined with the power of the Phoenix Rescue Mission they are a part of something so much more.

They’re vital ingredients in transforming lives.

It’s called Mission Possible Catering and it’s the next step in changing lives and building new futures here at the Phoenix Rescue Mission.

The goal is to give the women and men who have earned their ServeSafe certifications in the kitchen through our vocational development program the opportunity to exercise what they’ve learned in a professional environment – serving real customers, handling all the problems of a real business while earning valuable on-the-job experience at the same time.

Mission Possible Catering

At its head is Michelle. You may remember her from our November newsletter – a young woman who had learned valuable culinary and management skills through our vocational training course at the Changing Lives Center. When we last visited with her she had graduated our recovery program, finished her certifications and was on track to earning back the custody of her son that addiction stripped from her life.

Today she has full custody of her son; she has applied for and has been accepted into Ministry Training, our most rigorous and demanding leadership training program, and is spearheading the creation of our new Mission Possible Catering social enterprise program.

Monday through Friday, Michelle and her staff are working hard to perfect each item on their menu, tirelessly practicing their technique, their bake time, tweaking the recipes and making sure everything turns out as delicious as they’ve planned. But even before their catering service opens for business, the recipes they’ve poured their hearts and souls into are already making a difference.

Brandi

Brandi, one of our women in recovery currently working under Michelle, tells us, “I love what I do here. I’m learning new things every day. I feel like God was calling me to the Changing Lives Center for a long time. Now that I’m here, He’s blessing me in ways I never imagined – emotionally, spiritually and now with new skills and abilities.”

Michele, not to be confused with Michelle with two l’s, was addicted and contemplating suicide before her Aunt suggested finding help at the Changing Lives Center. It’s a decision that saved her life.

Michele explains, “I had this attitude and this demeanor about me that was so self-destructive. This place has changed me. I’m not angry, I’m not bitter anymore. I look at myself now and I just shake my head. I don’t know who that person was. At Mission Possible Catering I get to be a part of something exciting. I see all the wonderful dishes and I can say ‘I made this.’ It makes me feel important… something I’ve never really felt before.”

With your partnership, we’re taking simple things like chicken and tofu and using them to transform lives.

“The beautiful thing about this program is that you not only gain the skills restaurant employers are looking for, you have the opportunity to put those skills to the test and build our resumes at the same time,” says Michelle.

“Where else do you get the chance to do all this? For women who were lost and broken and whose self-worth was non-existent – it’s something we can be proud of. I love this place. The Mission is opening the doors for so many women in so many different ways.”

But it’s only through the prayers and support of friends like you that these life-changing programs are possible – a fact that is not lost on the women we serve.

“It amazes me how much the donors care – they genuinely care.” says Michele, “And that’s what most of us never had was someone who cared. The fact that people who don’t even know us care that much about us… it’s amazing!”

We’ll have Mission Possible Catering up and running soon! For more information, give us a call at 602-688-6220!

The women we serve can’t wait to serve you!

A Bizarre Meeting... Unexpected Hope

Twenty years old and homeless. Addicted to a $100 a day habit. Mixed up with the Mexican cartel. There are a number of reasons Austin shouldn’t be alive today. But instead of cutting his life short, God instead used an unlikely messenger to save it.

His dealer.

Austin had been living without a home for about a year and a half. His daily routine consisted of waking up, finding some way to make money, buying heroin, getting high and going back to sleep. But it wasn’t because he enjoyed the feeling. He was trapped.

“When you withdraw from heroin, you wake up freezing cold, you’re sweating, you’re throwing up, it feels like your bones are breaking and that you pulled all your muscles.” Austin explains, “A day without it and that’s where I was. After two years, my habit wasn’t about getting high for fun any more, I needed it just to survive.”

Traveling from drop house to drop house, Austin’s life was a blur. Then one night he got caught without a place to sleep and found a dugout to hole up in. At three in the morning a group of thugs happened upon him and beat him severely. Fortunately he managed to get away – but not before they broke his jaw and his cheek bone in three places.

But even a scrape with death wasn’t enough to motivate Austin to get help. Then something miraculous happened.

Austin explains, “I got into debt with my dealer. I owed her $30 and she confiscated my ID and my social security card as collateral until I could pay her. I convinced my mom that I owed a friend some money and she agreed to help me out so I could get my cards back. But when my mom handed her the money, instead of taking it, my dealer handed it back, told her all about my drug problem and that I needed help. She gave my cards to my mom and that was that. My mom had heard about the Phoenix Rescue Mission from a family friend. So the next day I checked in.”

Today, Austin is a graduate of our recovery program. He is sober, and thanks to our vocational development program he has a steady job at Subway with the goal of working to become a phlebotomist.

“Even though I grew up in a Christian home, it was here at the Mission where I experienced God for the first time,” admits Austin. “When that happened, I completely lost my desire to get high.”

Instead of traveling down a dead end road, Austin has a bright future ahead of him – and it’s because of the friendship and support of friends like you. Thank you!

Grand Opening for New Oaxaca Property

Message from Jay

In 2015 we saw a lot of great changes and improvements come to the Phoenix Rescue Mission. (Read "6 Reasons the Mission Transformed More Lives Than Ever in 2015" here.)

But God is far from done!

I’m excited to give you a sneak peek into a recent opportunity he’s presented to us. The Oaxaca restaurant adjacent to our Changing Lives Center went up for sale a few months ago. Thanks to the help of some generous friends, we were able to purchase it and are currently in the process of remodeling it to become the site of our social enterprises program! Currently, Mission Possible Cookies are baked in the site’s kitchen.

Our vision is to, one day soon, use this space as a fully operational restaurant/catering business where our men and women in recovery can work side-by-side with industry professionals, gaining vital work experience and learning on-the-job skills. The income from the restaurant would make this program self-sustainable and any profit would be reinvested back into the Mission to transform even more lives!

This new space, combined with the new Solutions Shelter program, will see the Phoenix Rescue Mission become a very powerful force for change in Phoenix. I’m very excited to see all that God has in store for us this year as we travel down this road together.

Watch this space for updates in the months ahead. Thank you again for your prayers and support. Together we truly are transforming lives in ways and in numbers we’ve never seen before!

Oaxaca

Envying the Dead | September 2015 Newsletter

envying-the-dead-blog

“I didn’t want to live anymore,” says Rita. ”I would cry out to God ‘Why? Why do you take people every day who have responsibilities, who have kids and families who depend on them? Why do you take them and not me?’”

In 2005, Rita was 37 years old. She had been married for 14 years, had three beautiful children and owned a nice house in Arrowhead. She ran a successful child care business with a staff of 20 employees and every Sunday you could find Rita and her family attending service at Christ’s Church of the Valley.

To the outside observer, it seemed like she had it all figured out.

But inside, Rita was dying.

The previous year, she discovered her husband had had an affair. For months she held the pain inside, burying it with work and alcohol. But when a minor surgery also gave her access to prescription pain pills, the tight weave of Rita’s life began to unravel.

“I was a mess,” admits Rita. “I was not functional, my life was chaos. I went from having… what I thought was everything, everything I needed to complete my life, everything I ever wanted, to living in a box on the street.”

I went from having...

Rita had a nervous breakdown. Her husband moved out with the kids, she lost her business and her home, and tried to commit suicide. The attempt landed her in a mental institution for a month. When she left, Rita turned to drugs for help.

“I didn’t care anymore,” Rita says. “I let everything go. Over the next 10 years, I was in and out of jail and prison for unpaid child support. I spent the last three with a dope dealer who was abusive. He would shave off my hair, pistol whip me, sometimes beat me to within an inch of my life. But I didn’t leave because, deep down, that’s what I thought I deserved.”

In between trips to prison, Rita was sent to recovery program after recovery program.

She tells us, “I would go into recovery expecting that once I was sober, all the things that I had lost; my family, my home, my life, would come back. When it didn’t happen I would use that as an excuse to drink and soon I was right back where I started.”

Need help?

Then Rita found real hope when the judge sent her to the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Changing Lives Center.

“None of the other programs had a spiritual aspect. Here I discovered that without God in my life, there was no way I was going to change… it was an incomplete recovery. Now for the first time in so long, I want to live. I wake up every morning and thank God for another beautiful day,” says Rita with a smile.

Thanks to the grace of God, the work of our counselors and staff and the support of friends like you, Rita is no longer wishing for death. Instead she’s sober, living a redeemed life, and looking forward to helping others find that same hope.

Rita profile photo

“This place gave me all the love and support I needed when I needed it most. It saved me,” says Rita. “I had given up on life, but this place gave me hope… it gave me – me. And I’m going to pass that on. If I’m flipping cheeseburgers for the rest of my life, that’s ok, because every spare moment I have I’m going to give back and I’m going to do His work. If I can touch one person the way this place touched me, it will all be worth it.”

See Rita in our new Mission video by going to "The Mission" page.

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Paying It Forward

Richard at desk

You may remember Richard. Just 16 months ago Richard was homeless, addicted to alcohol and sleeping in the bushes behind a church. He had lost ties to his family, his own daughter considered him dead… his life was in total shambles.

Then one day in a search to find food, Richard heard about the Phoenix Rescue Mission.
We reported that thanks to the hard work of our team of counselors, chaplains and support staff, Richard found sobriety, reconnected with God, he got his own place, a truck and even rekindled his relationship with his daughters.

But Richard’s story didn’t end there. Since we reported on his recovery he’s been using the second chance you helped give him to Pay it Forward.

Richard in his nurse uniform

Today he’s working as a Behavioral Health Intern at Banner Heart Hospital, helping men and women attain sobriety and find their way back to wholeness. In his spare time, he volunteers at the Mission, signing up families who come for help. He’s even become a financial partner to the Mission, supporting the work that changed his life and allowing others the same opportunity to find transformation.

Richard tells us, “I believe in giving back to my community because of all the help that’s been given to me. It’s not something I have to do; it’s something I want to do.”

But the best thing about Richard’s story is that it’s not unique. The truth is, the life change God produces in the men and women here at the Phoenix Rescue Mission doesn’t end at the door. Each new life is another opportunity to touch and transform countless others. Scores of graduates like Richard have gone on to make it their life’s work to do just that.

One meal represented a turning point, not just for one man, but ultimately for many. Because someone cared enough to Pay it Forward and purchase a meal for Richard, today he is a changed man. But more than that, he is a man who is giving back. Through him, countless other lives will also be changed…. some of them forever.

Visit us on social media @phxmission and share with us the ways you are Paying it Forward. Use the hashtag #payitforwardphx to join the conversation.

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Phoenix is Rising!

Contained in the pages of this newsletter are stories of lives burnt to the ground by addiction, loss, illness, and misfortune. Their beginnings reflect the heartache and desperation we find behind the eyes of so many who walk through our gates. But thanks to your prayers, countless volunteer hours, and your financial support, these adversities only represent the beginning of each story.

Here at the Phoenix Rescue Mission, the weary and the downtrodden find rest, nourishment and healing, but most of all, they find hope. Like the namesake of our city, every man and woman who pass through our doors discover the chance to rise anew from the ashes, transformed, confident, walking in faith, and better than they were before. We love to share these stories with you every month through our newsletter.

To better reflect the amazing transformation we see in lives every day here at the Mission, we’ve changed the name of our monthly newsletter. We chose this new title, Rising!, because it’s the perfect summary of what effect your support has on the lives of those we serve, what happens to each of these lives, and what effect all of it has on our city as a whole. Since Phoenix Rescue Mission updated its look we thought that should extend to our newsletter.

We hope you enjoy reading Rising!

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